DB: Where are you?
MM: In Omaha, Neb., for the inaugural Gallup Strength Summit. There are 800 people from 24 countries here, and they asked me to speak about my approach to building winning teams and the lessons from my book, Destination Unstoppable.
DB: What was the conference like?
MM: I spoke twice at the conference, and the first session was not only standing room only, but people were sitting on the floor. The next session was in a larger room. What I do is take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test, which most people use for identifying their strengths and for individual development, and use it for team-building, where we identify people’s strengths and then look for how those attributes can best be used to accomplish team goals.
DB: Can you provide an example?
MM: Sure. If a company or an organization is working on a strategic plan for future growth, and a team leader knows someone on their team is good at planning for the future, they definitely want that person on their team. Or for the boy’s varsity hockey team at Cranbrook Schools (in Bloomfield Hills), we had the entire team go through the system to identify their strengths. For example, the backup goalie, who didn’t play that often, turned out to be very good at harmony. So when an argument or a fight broke out between team members, he was empowered by the coach to break things up and get everyone back in line to focus on the team goal, which was to win the state championship — which they did (in 2015). The team was like all of these Ferraris with a lot of horsepower going in different directions, but once they all had the same goal, it was like a light bulb going on.
DB: Who are your clients?
MM: Kellogg Co., Beaumont Health, Huntington Bank, and others. If everyone knows what their strengths are, and you align that with team goals, you become unstoppable. The end goal is that when you invest in the human system of strengths, and understand your team, you use that to drive success.